Charter Communications added 400,000 residential and business broadband subscribers in Q2, beating analysts’ consensus estimates by about 125,000 subscribers and indicating that the expected slowdown in broadband growth may not be as dramatic as first expected.
Charter’s 400,000 total broadband additions was well ahead of consensus estimates of 275,000 adds, and was driven in part by lower churn. That lower churn rate also was evident on the video service side, where Charter lost 63,000 customers, again besting consensus estimates of a loss of about 160,000 customers.
Officially, Charter added 365,000 residential broadband customers (consensus estimates were for 250,000 additions) and 35,000 business broadband adds. Mobile customers rose by 265,000, slightly less than expectations of around 290,000 additions. Charter ended the period with about 2.9 million mobile customers.
Those gains helped drive overall revenue up 9.5% to $12.8 billion and cash flow increased 11.8% to $5 billion.
Charter’s performance mirrored that of its closest peer -- No. 1 cable operator Comcast -- which added 354,000 broadband customers in Q2, well ahead of consensus estimates.
"Our operating strategy continues to deliver strong customer and financial growth despite an operating environment that has yet to return to normal," Charter chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said in a press release. "And the opportunity at Charter is what it has always been — to continue to create customer relationships with our high-quality connectivity services, delivering value for consumers and our shareholders over time."
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.